Since his split-decision loss to Attila Vegh in July, 2012, Emanuel Newton’s goal has been simple: get a rematch and claim the Bellator light-heavyweight championship.
In the two years since their first bout, Newton had won four fights and picked up the interim 205-pound title. Then this past March, Newton once again faced Vegh, but this time came out on top of a split-decision.
“I definitely wanted to finish Attila, but he’s a tough guy to finish because it’s hard to finish a guy who is a counter-fighter,” said Newton. “I think I threw like 300 strikes throughout the fight, like double the amount of strikes he threw, and the ones he landed were that counter-uppercut.
“It was a learning experience for me because now I have to find another way to set up that overhand right, because I’m sure guys are going to be looking for that now and how to counter it.”
Newton says there was some level of wanting revenge in the bout, along with wanting to become the undisputed champion.
“Of course there’s motivation to get that win back and avenge that loss,” Newton told MMAWeekly.com. “I want to be able to keep climbing and support my family. I definitely had motivation behind it.”
“Joey has definitely stepped up,” said Newton. “Nobody else wanted to step up. I told Bellator that I needed a fight, and Joey was the only one who stepped up to the plate, in doing so he got the title shot and I really appreciate him.
“All hats off to him for stepping up, but he’s not going to beat me. This is my belt and this my time and I will not fall. I’m going to keep climbing and nobody is going to take it from me – nobody.”
Even though he’s currently at a high point in his career, Newton feels there’s still more to prove, and he’ll be looking to do so in the coming year.
“My last couple fights have been decisions – and even though they’ve been dominating decisions – they’re still decisions, so I want to finish my opponents and not have so many wars,” he said.
“I still have to prove that I am an evolved fighter and that I can be a dominant champion and that my way of living, breathing and just walking on this earth is more real than the way that we’re programed to live through the flesh.”